In contrast to the multiple missteps and backtracks of the previous evening, last night was much much better.
First off the 24 hour downtime for the new expansion was over 6 hours early meaning by the time I got home I could download the new patch, apply it, and was playing in no time.
By the way, the downtime news events posted here while the expansion was being installed on the server were brilliant. I loved checking the website during the day and seeing what major world changing events were taking place in the universe, just amazing.
Anywhoo, I logged in and immediately went looking for those Maru Hackers with the Hacker ID Slice I needed for that mission. I got to the Neferanter (spelling?) ruins and quickly dispatched the waves of rats and the three Maru Hacker ships. I checked the cargos and ... nothing of interest. Drat! Now I have to wait for the next spawn.
I spent about 30 minutes waiting, checking out other wrecks, killing other spawns, chatting with ex-Strife pilots, and finally the Maru Hackers respawned. I engaged and my Scourge Precision missiles from the launcers of the Cerberus quickly dealt with them. I checked the wreck of the first... a drone and ammo. Grrrr. The second blew up and the wreck was empty. The third I attacked with a sinking feeling. He blew up, I opened the wreck and... there it was! One Hacked ID Slice!
I warped off to the mission system, docked to throw on my Recon Probe Launcher, flew out to a planet, and laid down the probe to find the gate. A minute and a half later I had it bookmarked and I re-docked to put back on the heavy missile launchers I had to take off to fit the scan probe launcher. Hmmmm... we really need Tech II exploration vessels capable of tanking, damage, and fitting scan probes. Tech II Drakes anyone?
I entered the mission area and quickly went to work. These guys were tougher than the rats at the ruins and my shields were taxed to the max tanking them while my Tech II missiles flew out and destroyed them one at a time. There was 6 cruiser rats left and my shields were falling, 23%, 22%... all the way down to 17% by the time there was only three left. Was my max recharge higher than their damage output? Survey says... YES! It climb back to 18% and I had the time I needed to blow up the last three without warping out.
With that mission completed, I realized I needed to complete two more for this same agent in order to get my faction standing increase. Fortunately the next two missions were a lot easier and less convoluted.
The first had me retrieve 500 units of small arms from low sec. I couldn't contract them to Derranna to fetch in her Prowler blockade runner, but didn't want to use Kirith's crappy hauling skills either. So I had to both of them into low sec to get the stuff, Kirith to scout and Derranna to haul. There was no gate camps or pirates and the trip went off without a hitch.
The last mission was a simple kill mission: go to an ice field and kill a named rat in a Battleship. It was not hard; the Scorpion battleship was so toned down I could have killed it in a Caracal much less a Cerberus.
With that completed I received the desired faction increase and after downtime my corp Katana Securities Inc was able to apply with the requisite faction standings. After tomorrow mornings downtime I will officially be in the war. Boo ya.
Of course, my wife and kids will be back and I will be unable to play Eve anymore. Sigh.